Relations are meant to last, he believed. But, some men take advantage of women and treat them like slaves. Such men should be punished, he thought. Varadarajan is a senior advocate who specialized in divorce cases. He was so popular with the ladies that some called him the alimony expert. Varadarajan would make sure the women get alimony even in the trickiest of situations.

Varadarajan was waiting for to meet a client’s husband. It was unusual for his client’s husbands to want to meet him. As always, when he thought of men who ill treat their wives, the story of his younger sister came to his mind. He could not do anything. She suffered so much and the crook finally killed her for money. Varadarajan tried his best to save his sister. But, he could not save her in time. Later, he tried his best to put his brother-in-law behind bars for his atrocities. But, there was no proof against him. Harish was an expert at criminal acts and made sure the entire episode look like a mere fire accident. After that, Varadarajan made it a point to help all the women in distress.

This current case was no different. Anindita is the wife of a top businessman. She came to him seeking divorce from her husband. She told him that her husband was in a relation with one of his employees. When she asked him about it, her husband threatened to kill her. Varadarajan considered this as a very simple case. But, he was surprised, when Rajat Shah, Anindita’s husband wanted to meet him in person, without Anindita knowing about it.

Varadarajan waited for him in the lounge of a top restaurant in the city.

While he was waiting, he saw a group of people clad in suits and ties rush to a nearby table. They were all panicking. Though he was not usually interested in others business, Varadarajan was piqued about this group as he saw a girl crying in the group.

They settled down besideĀ the table beside Varadarajan’s table. The girl, Nidhi, put her head down at the table and started sobbing. A few moments later, her colleague said, “Why do you believe those rumors? We know that there is nothing between you both? I know how much you respect Himanshu. He is our mentor, too. We all respect him. His wife does not trust him. She always doubts him and his activities. He has contributed so much to the people who want to learn mechanical engineering. All this while, she could not do anything because he helped guys along with girls. In your case, Himanshu found out that you are a genius and he is helping you out. Nobody expected things to get so ugly.”

Nidhi spoke, “Why did she have to come to the conference and speak bad about us? I did not expect her to go to the podium after Himanshu’s presentation and speak about us. She knows nothing about me. I’m worried because my father came to know about this. Unfortunately, I asked him to come to today’s conference because I wanted him to be in the audience when I give my first presentation at any conference. But, he left after he heard her words. While going he told me that he will have to arrange for my wedding soon.”

Nidhi’s friend said, “Isn’t it good that way? You get married and go away from this place…far from Himanshu and his doubting wife…”

Nidhi could not control her tears. Her expression suggested that she felt sad than ever. She said, “I cannot get married now. I already love someone.”

None of them spoke. They wondered if Nidhi was really in love with Himanshu. There was awkward silence everywhere. Nidhi said, “It’s not Himanshu. Trust me. It’s my childhood friend, Sagar. My Dad does not know about it. Sagar is waiting for a good job. We wanted to tell our parents about us once he gets his job. Himanshu has met Sagar. I know Sagar trusts me. But, Himanshu’s wife spoiled everything for me. You do not know my father. He is very adamant. I’m pretty sure he will find someone for me and arrange for my marriage within a month or a week. Only a miracle can save Sagar.”

While they listened, Himanshu walked calmly. He said, “She left. She does not want to believe me. I cannot be angry on her. You don’t worry Nidhi. I will talk to your father and apologize to him. I will meet you guys in a few minutes.”

Himanshu walked away from them. Varadarajan could notice that Himanshu was extremely depressed. Varadarajan followed him into the wash room. Himanshu did not notice Varadarajan behind him. After reaching the wash room, he got into one of the booths and latched the door. He cried to himself silently. Varadarajan wondered what was happening. Suddenly, Varadarajan heard the sound of a plastic bottle cap flipping open. His worst fears came true. Himanshu was taking sleeping pills to kill himself.

Varadarajan applied brute force and opened the door. Himanshu gulped an entire bottle of sleeping pills. It took hardly a minute for him to choke. Varadarajan immediately ran out and called Himanshu’s team members. They ran and took him to the hospital immediately. Himanshu was saying, “She ruined my career. My marital life was always ruined. Do I have to live? Why did you save me?”

Himanshu’s words had a great effect on Varadarajan.

After a few minutes, Varadarajan’s guest, Rajat Shah, came. He said, “I’m sorry I’m late by thirty minutes.”

Varadarajan did not know whether or not to trust this guy. His perception about relations changed completely a few minutes ago.

Rajat said, “You must be wondering why I wanted to meet you in person. I doubt if you will believe everything that I’m going to say. But, I thought you should know the truth.”

Varadarajan listened intently.

Rajat said, “I don’t have any relationship with any of my colleagues. Instead, my wife is in a relationship with someone. I caught her red handed two months ago. I decided to forgive her. But, she considered my silence to be my inefficiency. She is seeking your help so that she can take as much alimony as possible and go away with her lover. It’s his master plan.”

Varadarajan was confused. He said, “Why don’t you tell police about this? Why are you telling me?”

Rajat replied, “Three years ago, you had a similar case. You fought for the woman saying that the husband must have been so hopeless that the woman had to seek pleasure outside the home. You twisted facts and used them to such an advantage that the woman got her alimony. But, my friend lost the case. He lost all his money. Now, he is so depressed that they had to put him in a mental asylum. I wanted to talk to you to stop these things.”

Varadarajan was taken aback. He said, “I remember the case. Sheila was an innocent woman. She did not know what to do with her life. She got into another relationship because her husband abandoned her for another woman. She found solace in her friend’s arms and they both got married. I think you are twisting the facts.”

Rajat immediately took out his mobile. He showed Varadarajan Sheila’s social media profile and said, “Let us consider she was innocent. Why did she break up with her friend two months after that? Let us assume he was a crook too. Look at this. You can see her flirting with many young men. I don’t have any right to comment on her character. But, she won another alimony case after yours and here are the details. As it happened in another country, we do not know the details.”

Varadarajan was taken aback.

Rajat said, “As far as my wife is concerned, I wanted to show you the proofs. I hate it and want to kill myself to show other people the videos of my wife having fun with another man.”

Varadarajan was stunned. He said, “Thanks for the information. I know what to do with this case.”

The next day, Varadarajan withdrew from the case saying that he does not believe in Anindita. No other lawyer was ready to take up her case. Finally, with the help of another lawyer, Rajat got the divorce without any alimony.

A month later, Varadarajan gave up his career of law after an incident. He saw a group of stage actors performing some skit in a stage show. It took a few minutes for Varadarajan to recognize the people in the show. They were Himanshu, Nidhi, and other colleagues.